Karabo Mokoena
Content producer
1 minute read
25 May 2020
1:00 pm

Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding?

Karabo Mokoena

Breastfeeding can be an effective method of contraception, but is it full proof?

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A lot of new moms are informed that breastfeeding can be used as a contraceptive mechanism. This method is known as the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). Lactation refers to breastfeeding. 

What is the science behind it? 

Prolactin is the hormone generated to tell the body to produce breastmilk. When prolactin is heightened, which happens in women that breastfeed exclusively, a woman’s body cant excrete estrogen, which means they do not ovulate.  

Moms that breastfeed exclusively don’t go on their period because their bodies naturally stop ovulating. If you do not ovulate, then you cannot fall pregnant. This is, however, not guaranteed

 According to Planned Parenthood, a reproductive health care website, “about 2 out of 100 people who use breastfeeding as birth control get pregnant in the 6 months it can be used after a baby is born.”

LAM fails when moms: 

-Don’t breastfeed exclusively and feed your child formula

-Use a breast pump and don’t nurse exclusively 

This is how a lot of women fall pregnant while using the LAM method. 

At the end of her video regarding weaning off her daughter Sana, fitness mom, Takkies said “guys, I fell pregnant while breastfeeding. Do not, I repeat, do not fall for the trap”. 

Also read: WATCH: How Takkies successfully weaned her toddler off breastfeeding

Like a lot of contraception forms, breastfeeding is not full proof. Ovulation and conception can still happen if you are not using another form of contraception like condoms or a pill. 

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